SHAH ABBAS THE GREAT 259 the throne, his astrologers having predicted that serious danger threatened its occupant. A certain Yusuf, probably a Christian and certainly not a Moslem, was crowned, and for three days was surrounded with royal state. On the fourth day he was put to death ^; and, the decree of the stars being thus fulfilled. Abbas reascended the throne on a propitious day with promises from the astrologers of a long and glorious reign. The victory over the Uzbegs mentioned above was gained shortly after this extra- ordinary incident. The Arrival in Persia of the Sherley Brothers y A.D. 1598. —The gallant attempt of Jenkinson in the reign of Tahmasp to open up trade with Persia across Russia was an isolated episode which left no mark on the country, and deserves mention mainly on account of the courage and perseverance displayed. Under Shah Abbas, Englishmen first appear on the scene as gentlemen-adventurers,1 and their influence on Persian policy was considerable. Sir Anthony Sherley, already distinguished as the leader of an expedition to the Spanish Main, and" his brother Sir Robert Sherley, accompanied by twenty-six followers, reached Kazvin in 1598, and upon the return of Shah Abbas from his victory over the Uzbegs the two brothers presented themselves as English knights who had heard of the fame of the Persian monarch and desired to enter his service. Knowledge of the customs of Persia was shown by their making a splendid gift " of six pair of pendants of exceed- ing fair emeralds : two other jewels of topazes ; a cup of three pieces set in gold, and enamelled ; a salt, a fair ewer of crystal^ covered with a kind of cut work of silver, and gilt, the shape of a dragon." The young Shah, who was evidently flattered and pleased with the leader of the party, gave him in return royal gifts, including " forty horses all furnished, two with exceeding rich saddles, plated with gold, and set with rubies and turquoises," To these he added mules, camels, tents, and a sum of money. The Reorganization of the Persian drmy.—The force at 1 This section is based on Purchas His Pilgrimes (1625 ed.), vol. ii. 5 also on The Three Brothers, or The Travels and Adventures of Sir Anthony, -Srr Robert, and Sir Thomas Sherley, 1828.